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Food @ Trivandrum

Imperial Kitchen: Back To The Beloved Soup, Chicken, And Fish With A New Fried Rice

Finally got to visit the Imperial Kitchen restaurant at Keston Road again after more than two years… Its one of the very few restaurants, in fact the very first restaurant apart from the star hotels to have a truly International Multi-Cuisine menu and by that I mean, having options in the menu thats beyond the typical Indo-Chinese and North/South Indian stuff that we see in most Multi-Cuisine restaurants in India… My foodie friend was with me and turns out its her first time visiting the place as well and so she ask me to choose the food for us… So, I decided to introduce her to my two favourite starters, namely the Chilly Garlic Chicken Soup and the Dragon Chicken… For the main course, I chose the Thai Fried Fish which I loved previously and then to go with it, the Penang Seafood Fried Rice which is a new item that I haven’t seen in their menu before… They were all served as can be seen in the pics below…

So, first lets talk about the Chilly Garlic Chicken Soup… Now I have had this soup quite a number of times before as its my favourite soup from this place… I have had mixed feels overall cause even though the flavours of the Chillies and Garlic tend to be quite consistent, sometimes they end up thickening the soup with corn starch too much that the flavours tend to get masked by the corn starch itself… But other times it tends to be just right like the last time I had this soup… This time, they did thicken the soup but thankfully not too thick so that the flavours were still intact… The pieces of Chicken were well cooked and the flavours of the Chicken, Chillies, Garlic and also the Egg and the Carrots felt to be well balanced… Overall I felt glad that they have maintained the taste… My friend also liked the taste but just like me, wish that they hadn’t thickened it even this much…

Next up is the Dragon Chicken… I have had this starter before not only from Imperial Kitchen but also from most places and I am of the opinion that the version they make here is the best tasting one in Trivandrum… I have had this quite a number of times and the taste has been 100% consistent… Regarding the Dragon Chicken I got this time, as can be seen in the pics below, the only difference I felt was in the way the Chicken meat was cut where instead of just bite sized pieces, there were a few strip like pieces as well… As for the taste, it was exactly the same as before, with the flavours of the Schezwan style Chilly Sauce and Garlic being well balanced along with a little bit of sweetness as well along with the richness from the Cashews… The Chicken pieces were well cooked and everything was seasoned just right… Safe to say that this will continue to be my favourite Dragon Chicken for now and my friend loved it as well…

Next up is the Penang Seafood Fried Rice… This is one of the new items in their menu which I had never seen before… Penang’s cuisine is quite famous for the use of Tamarind as the sour component along with of course their Soy, Chillies, etc and the key point is the style of cooking known as the “Wok Hei” where food is typically stir fried in well seasoned Woks in very intense heat resulting in a unique smoky/charred flavour thats a result of the caramelisation of the sugars together with the smoking of the oil… So, seeing the name in the menu got me curious to try how well they are doing it here and the pics below show how it was served…

Last but not least is the Thai Fried Fish which was what I was hoping to have when the idea occurred to visit this place after so long… Its an expensive dish compared to most in their menu and hence I have had it only a couple of times before but safe to say that I fell in love with it when I had it for the first time itself… This dish is basically a tempura batter fried whole fish which is then served with a Thai style Sweet Chilly and Garlic Sauce… So, when you order, they let you choose the fish from their display counter and among the choices available, I wanted to go for the Snapper which in my opinion, works very well in this recipe but the ones available were too big for one person to have… But, since my friend was also fine with having it, I had them go ahead with the Snapper itself… The result was as can be seen in the pics below… 🙂

Coming to the taste, the sauce this time looked and tasted very similar to the sauce in the Dragon Chicken with taste of the onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, etc with if I am not mistaken tomatoes and it clearly has been sweetened a bit as well… They basically appeared to have topped the Fried Fish with the sauce and then topped it all off which some strips of carrots, cabbage and spring onions… The Fish was cooked perfectly with an incredibly crispy outer skin thanks to the batter and incredibly soft and flaky flesh inside… In-fact so soft that the flesh really didn’t need much chewing to eat… Clearly the fish was recently caught ie, at-least within couple of days max as it had not yet lost the fresh taste yet… Over all, just like previous times, loved it very much and seemed to work incredibly well with rice or on its own too… My friend too was able to enjoy it very well… 🙂

As for the Penang Seafood Fried Rice we got here, to be frank, I couldn’t really detect the Wok Hei at all and instead felt like an under seasoned variation of the Nasi Goreng with a very mild taste of the shrimp paste if I’m not mistaken… The seafood present was mostly Squid with a couple of prawns thrown in there and like most fried rice recipes, it also had egg… Overall I felt that its a fine Fried Rice but whether it justifies being called “Penang” is a completely different question… 😛

That’s it for now… It was nice to get to taste some of my favourite food once again after a long time… The place is quite far away from where I live and so it is quite rare that I get to go that area… Thats also the reason why its been so long since I last visited… Anyways, I for one am hoping to be able to visit again soon as there are quite a number of new items in the menu that I would like to try… Hopefully soon… 🙂

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